James Beard Award-winning chef Marcus Samuelsson, who worked with World Center Kitchen during the pandemic to help people in need, spoke to The Economist about the challenges facing the restaurant industry and the impact on George Floyd’s killing to him.
“The pandemic highlights what America needs to improve on,” said Celebrity Chef Samuelsson, who said the huge damage seen from inequality to health care and basic infrastructure are the wounds inflicted by coronavirus. The chef, who turned his kitchen into meal kitchens during the pandemic era, partnered with World Central Kitchen to make more than 50,000 meals to the people of Harlem, with a team willing to work. The successful chef, who spoke of the Harlem people he supported as ‘new regulars’, said he was born in a hut in Ethiopia and came to America without money but with big dreams. Samuelsson said that, as an African, he knew how to lead in difficulty, adapt, change and stay strong. Samuelsson, speaking of the impact on the murder of George Floyd, said: “You just hope there’s going to be a different outcome. Why does there always have to be a black man and why doesn’t there always have to be white cops. There’s so much anger there, there’s so much false narrative. There’s so much generational racism that needs to be dealt with in-depth” said.